Bean salad

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Bean salad
Colourful bean salad.jpg
A colourful bean salad made with white beans, peppers, and onions
Alternative namesThree Bean Salad, Four Bean Salad, etc.
Main ingredientsBeans (green beans, yellow wax beans), garbanzo beans, kidney beans, onions, peppers or other vegetables

Bean salad is a common cold salad composed of various cooked beansgreen beans, yellow wax beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans – and typically fresh raw onions, peppers, and/or other vegetables, tossed in a vinaigrette or vinegar[1] and characteristically sweetened with sugar.[2] It can also be prepared as a pickled dish.[3] Bean salad is a popular choice for home canning.[4] Salads prepared with this method should be used within a year for best quality[5].

Balela, a Mediterranean bean salad
Balela, a Mediterranean bean salad

Cultures around the world have their own version of bean salad[6]. Balela is a Middle Eastern salad that typically uses chickpeas and black beans with tomatoes, herbs, and lemon juice[7]. South American bean salad features poroto beans with tomatoes, parsley, oil and vinegar, and is served with grilled steak.[8]

It is common in some parts of the United States to refer to this sort of salad by the number of different beans it contains, e.g. "three bean salad" or "four bean salad."[9] The generic term "bean salad" can also be used to refer to related dishes, like variants containing starches such as barley, pasta, or rice[10].


Since at least the 19th century, salads using cooked beans have been commonly used for picnics and outings.[11][12]

Preparation and storage[edit]

The principal ingredients, the beans, have already been cooked and the vinaigrette helps to temporarily preserve the dish without refrigeration. If refrigerated, bean salad can last between three and five days and should be discarded when left out more than two hours[13]. The absence of meat or dairy products in most recipes also allows this dish to keep longer than other food items that require consistent refrigeration and sealed storage.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is Bean Salad?". WiseGeek. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  2. ^ Green, O. (1909). One Thousand Salads. Putnam's homemaker series. G.P. Putnam's Sons. p. 131. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  3. ^ Better Homes and Gardens Can It!. Better Homes and Gardens Cooking. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2012. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-544-17842-7. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "Pickled Three Bean Salad Recipe | Bean Salad Recipes - Ball® Fresh Preserving - Fresh Preserving". Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  5. ^ "What is the shelf life of home canned goods? - Healthy Canning". Healthy Canning. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  6. ^ "What Is Bean Salad? (with pictures)". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  7. ^ "Now You Can Make Balela Salad At Home!". 12 Tomatoes. 2018-04-27. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  8. ^ "Uruguayan Bean Salad". Genius Kitchen. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  9. ^ Bilderback, L. (2009). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sensational Salads. The Complete Idiot's Guide Series. Alpha Books. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-59257-825-2. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  10. ^ "Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa". Whole Foods Market. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  11. ^ "The Maine Ingredient: Spice up a picnic with mango-bean salad and bold brownies". Portland Press Herald. June 28, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  12. ^ by N.S. Gill. "The Legendary Phoenix in Ancient History". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  13. ^ "How Long Does Bean Salad Last in the Fridge?". Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  14. ^ "What Is Bean Salad? (with pictures)". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 2018-10-28.